I don't do a lot of reviews, but I loved Joann H. Buchanan's first book "Soulless Light," and when she asked me to do a pre-release review of "I Am Wolf," I happily said yes.
My reading tastes are rather eclectic, and while this story is YA(a genre that normally I wouldn't search out), I found this to be a very good book. Why? The story line is wonderful and easy to follow, but that doesn't mean it's boring. Excitement comes at you from everywhere. There is one main protagonist: a young High School boy who is coming to terms with some huge changes in his life. However, this young boy has so many friends as he struggles to fit in with his new existence that there is a veritable cast of supporting heroes.
Where this story really shines, however, is within the twisted mind of the antagonist. Joann does a marvelous job of plotting out his depravity, making you wonder just what this evil entity will do next. He does plenty! None of it good.
Countering his evil is the love and compassion shown by the young lad and his friends, but don't confuse their caring for weakness: they have a tough job to do and they get it done; at much risk to themselves.
Enter another reason Blaze loves this novel: while the name of this tale would make you believe it is a Werewolf story, it is not. It is a tale of legends and lore where Native Americans are part of something grandiose, something a part of Spiritual transcendence. Many American Indian cultures believe in shape-shifting. Some believe it to be evil. Others believe it to be otherwise when used within the context of what the Great Spirit wishes: harmony between humans and nature. My grandmother was a full blooded Cherokee lady. This makes me one fourth Cherokee. That part of me embraces the old ways, and I understand the concepts and beliefs of my ancestors. What I am getting to here is the fact Joann has done a fantastic job of making the old legends seem real. This is not always an easy task in today's day and age where everybody "knows" everything. Maybe we're not as smart as we think we are.
It's time for me to rate this book. One star for a great story line; another star for super protagonists; TWO stars for an amazing portrayal of evil within the antagonist; and another star for creating such wonderful believability of Spiritual transcendence.
FIVE BLAZING STARS!
Read this great book when it comes out! You will love it!